GARDEN CITY, Kansas – For the first time in decades, there are visible changes being made to the Windsor Hotel.
“This has been something people have been anticipating since 1977 when the hotel was closed,” said Brian Nelson, Treasure of the Finney County Preservation Alliance. “So, to get these guys in here and start seeing the progress, it’s a real big step forward.”
The work has grabbed the attention of passers-by. “I was worried they were going to tear it down or it was just going to crumble away,” said Garden City resident Tracy Meinzer. “I’m really glad they’re bringing it back.”
This first phase will cost over a million dollars and will replace the leaking roof, but first they’ll stabilize the building.
“We are removing all the plaster on the ceilings and half the plaster on the walls, to lighten the load on the building,” said subcontractor Rod Fercking.
Even though the plaster goes with the time period, it’s falling apart, and it’s a lot heavier than dry-wall so some of it has to go. As crews work they’re constantly lightening the load on the building. So far, they estimate they’ve gotten rid of about 50,000 pounds of plaster and other debris. They’re careful to preserve the authenticity though.
“When we remove the plaster, we cut about two inches around the trim, so we do not disturb it at all,” Fercking said.
“A small group of us have been coming in and collecting any last artifacts,” said Nelson.
Eventually they’ll work toward opening up the bottom floor as shops and restaurants.
“It’s like the most beautiful old building ever,” Meinzer said. “If it could be back in its original glory, I think that would be so cool.”
Visit the Windsor Hotel’s Facebook page here to learn about tours.